THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 189.
A Reportfrom the Council of War of the Indies to the King.
Source :-Additioal Mss. 36330. British Museum. Published
by courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum. Translated
from the Spanish.
MAY IOTH, 1662.
SUMMARY.-The Governor Viedma wrote on October 2oth
1658, that he had arrived in Trinidad in August 1658. He
had found Don Matheo Sotelo de Quiros as Interim Governor
of the Island of Trinidad, appointed by the Audiencia of
San Domingo, and Don Cristoval de Vera as Interim Governor
in Guayana, appointed by the Audiencia of Santa Fe.
He reported that in Trinidad there are 76 men including
the sick and old and that not more than 40 were able to
bear arms. There were also about 80-90 Indians as all the
rest had gone back to liberty. He had found at San Thome,
a French Missionary whom the Governor Mendoca had
called from Guarapiche with four other Frenchmen to Guayana
and which had caused great dismay amongst the inhabitants.
The Governor Viedma had sent the four Frenchmen to the
Audiencia at Santa Fe.
The Audiencia had sent 80 soldiers from Santa Fe but as
Mendoca had died and no supplies had been provided, the
men fled away. Viedma had found only 16 men at San
Thome. Dionisio Mealand, the said Missionary, had asked
to be allowed to go to tie English or Dutch settlements in
the Islands. Viedma refused this and he was warned that if he
pursued this matter he would be sent to the New Kingdom
with the other Frenchmen.
He reported that two new settlements had been made
by the Dutch who had been forced to leave Brazil.
He pointed out that one Governor is subject to two
separate Audiencias and recommended that both the Island
of Trinidad and the Province of Guayana, be put under
the one Audiencia of Santa Fe. He also recommended that
the spiritual care of both be also placed under the authorities
at Santa Fe. He reported that it was 25 years since the
Bishop of Porto Rico had visited although he had got so far
as Margarita and Cumana. As a consequence the greater
part of the inhabitants of the government had not been
In order to make the Bishop, Don Juan Lopez de Aguerto,
to come in 1633, it was necessary for the King to issue specific
orders to this end at the request of the-'Governor. It was
more than I years since any.visitadores had been to either
There were two convents of FraAcans which had
been abandoned by the religiosos on account of the raids
by the enemy. This desertion has been reported to the
Provincial but they have not been sent back yet. These
convents have been abandoned since I652.